Vacationers and tourists provide a vast feeding ground for all sorts of crooks: from the simple pick-pocketing specialist to the hotel room burglar to the e-thief: credit card skimming and computer crimes. You can even have your identity stolen while sunning on that white beach.
- Don’t post your vacation or other travel plans on social media. Thieves peruse social media to see who will be out of town and when.
- Protection begins before the trip. Put a vacation hold on your snail mail.
- Beware of hotel room scams. A person posing as front desk staff will call random hotel rooms to sucker travelers into giving up their credit card number. Never give private information over the hotel phone.
- When using public Wi-Fi, encrypt your activities so that hackers can’t pluck them out of the air.
- Always know where your mobile phone is, and have it protected with a password.
- Must you always pay with a credit or debit card? Cold cash can’t be hacked into. But I still prefer credit over debit cards (and even cash).
- Don’t withdraw more cash than you need. Don’t take out wads of high bills because you “might” spend a lot of money. And use an ATM at a bank, not a public kiosk.
- When you do use a card (credit, not debit!), do not let the server or sales clerk walk out of your sight with it. You just never know who might be an “inside” thief.
- As soon as you can upon returning from traveling, check your credit card statements for suspicious activity.
- Leave the expensive jewelry, handbags, etc. at home. A thief has a lot of interest in a well-dressed person who acts like a tourist. If you want everyone to see how exorbitantly styled you are, you’ll have to include muggers and other thieves in that group.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
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